Peter David's Blog
April 23, 2017
So recently there were blackouts in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Tons of people were inconvenienced as subways, airports and trollies all came to a grinding halt. Yet officials claimed there was no connection.
Yet I am reminded of a line from the book Goldfinger: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”
Am I the only one who hears about this and pictures the opening ten minutes of a Michael Bay film? We cut from one stricken city to the next to the next, watch millions of citizens become stranded, and then we cut to a warehouse or office with a guy sitting in front of a computer, and he’s saying to the mastermind, “It worked perfectly. We were able to shut down all the power to the transit systems of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. We did it.” And the mastermind says, “We did nothing. This was just a dry run. Now…now comes the real fun.”
And we cut to Bruce Willis as John McClane stuck on a New York subway, getting into a face off with a big, burly and pissed off commuter before having to knock him cold. “I can’t wait to get my hands on whoever screwed things up this bad,” he growls.
Welcome to “Die Hard After Dark.”
April 21, 2017
A busy, busy week for Trump and the Trumpettes.
1) Finally North and South Korea agree on something–They both hate Trump. He’s been waging a Twitter war with North Korea and now he managed to piss off South Korea by stating in an offhand and inaccurate manner that Korea used to be part of China. So now both the good Korea and the evil Korea are angry at him. I’m not certain whether a united Korea is a good thing or a bad thing, but if they are united in their hostility toward us, I don’t see how that can possibly benefit us.
2) THIS guy is the Attorney General?–On a conservative radio show, AG Jeff Sessions declared, “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.” It is of course hugely insulting that we would dismiss one of the states in the Union as “an island in the Pacific.” I suppose technically it’s true that that’s what it is, but the patronizing attitude cannot be ignored. The fact that the judge is in Hawaii is irrelevant; if the ruling had happened in a Manhattan court, would he have referred to THAT as “an island off New Jersey?” Furthermore, why in the world is he amazed that a judge can do this? Of COURSE a judge can do this. It’s a Federal Court judge and he naturally tossed out Trump’s insanely unconstitutional Muslim ban as a matter of legal principle. How can the man who ostensibly oversees law in this country be amazed at how the law works?
3) You can’t criticize him! He’s the President!–Trump naturally launched an attack on protestors who demanded that he release his tax returns. He dismissed them all as the actions of paid organizers, which is his usual stunt. Funny thing: it has been pointed out that when people are hyper obsessed about something, it is typically because they themselves are guilty of it. Look, for instance, at the over-the-top ministers who decry gays that are subsequently caught out as being sexual predators on young boys, or the anti-gay senators who get snagged in gay scandals. Since Trump is constantly ascribing bribery to the opposing side, it makes sense that he himself routinely paid people to be supporters for himself or attackers of his opposition. Furthermore, Trump decries as “ridiculous” the charting of what he accomplishes in his first hundred days. Which makes sense considering that his accomplishments during that time include his utter failure to overturn Obamacare, his failure to keep Muslims out of the country, and his failure to hurt the Syrians by lobbing missiles at them that did nothing to stop the Syrians from launching more airplanes from the bombed runways within hours of the bombing. Any sane observation seems to be that his major accomplishment is that he managed to last a hundred days in the office.
Did he do anything right? Well, this is a definite win: His administration managed to free one Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American air worker who was held for three years in Egypt, charged with human trafficking and child abuse. Let’s just hope she’s not Muslim or Trump might not let her back into the United States.
April 14, 2017
Actually, this is been a remarkably busy week for me. And now I’m down in Miami at the Florida retro SuperCom. So I’m afraid I don’t have time to produce one this week. However, if any of you would like to volunteer information, this is the place to do it. Go nuts.
April 12, 2017
When I undertook this endeavor a week and a half ago, I was in a desperate situation. And for all I knew, my honesty might simply have been greeted with derision. Which naturally some people did. “Pay your taxes!” I was told, as if in twenty years I hadn’t paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes. Maybe it just comes down to that, for some, asking for help is seen as a sign of weakness.
But the rest of you, the support has been tremendous. I cannot thank you enough.
At this point the total income is about $68,000, which is staggering, but unfortunately still not enough. I will definitely be endeavoring to negotiate, but I didn’t want to bet everything on it working. And donations to both Paypal and GoFundMe“>GoFundMe page have trickled down.
I do have one bit of bright news. I checked with a tax attorney who stated that, since these are considered gifts, this income would NOT be taxable. A gift is any money given by someone that is under $14,000. So that would keep me in the clear. Nevertheless, when I do start my Patreon.com account, that money will be set aside to cover taxes on anything else I earn. In fact, I could use some help on that: what would you want to see in a Patreon account? I’m unsure what you guys would want to see me provide and how much I should charge for things. So anyone who wants to provide some thoughts, I’d be happy to hear it.
As for the rest of the money, well, I have a very slight bit of breathing space: a month and a half until I have to settle accounts. At this point I’m hoping maybe some millionaire fans–a baseball player or insanely highly paid TV actor or someone–will say, “Sure, I’ll give him $14,000 out of petty cash” and this is done. In the meantime, thanks for spreading the word to anyone who will listen.
April 7, 2017
There were several things to discuss this week, but honestly, they’ve all dwindled into triviality because of what happened yesterday.
It was nice knowing you–In response to Syrian President Assad’s gassing of Syrian citizens, Trump launched a missile strike against the Syrian airbase that fired on the people. Although the Syrian civil war has been going on for years, and the US has been endeavoring to help the rebels against Assad, Obama refrained from doing anything to attack him directly. The reason for this was simple: Russia is a firm ally of Syria, and Obama was reluctant to do something that would possibly trigger World War III.
But Trump, who has the self-control of an inebriated toddler, felt that launching a direct assault on a Russian ally was a fantastic idea.
Don’t get me wrong: I think what Assad did was horrific. If Seal Team Six went in and blew him away, I’d be fine with that. But unilaterally firing missiles at a Russian ally who did not attack us directly is quite simply a terrible idea, and one that could trigger global consequences.
For months we’ve been making fun of Trump’s alleged adoration of Putin. How they were secretly best buds, and that Putin was actually calling the shots. If Trump wanted to do something to put the lie to that, he certainly managed to accomplish it. Right now the Kremlin is likely sitting there saying, “THIS is who we wanted in the White House? Hillary wouldn’t have done this!” Which of course she wouldn’t have. Dealing with Syria requires the long game and patience, neither of which Trump has, and his precipitous actions may well indeed have set the dominos in motion for a military conflict involving Syria and one of the few other superpowers in the world. This from a man who swore that he would not get us involved in yet another Middle East situation, except this lie of his may be the one that ends everything.
April 6, 2017
Kath here. I asked Peter if I could write an entry for this campaign.
First off I want to say Thank you from all of us for all that you have done. Every dollar, share, retweet, article, blog entry, word of mouth, prayer, and kind thought has helped us immensely.
We are about three quarters of the way to what we need to make this long nightmare go away.
Some positives that have happened is that through some help and advise we were able to get the IRS to give us a little more time before taking everything away.
We still have the sword of Damocles hanging over our head, but the thread is a little stronger than it was giving us the chance to really get our act together.
We are talking to people who have offered us help with the issue at hand. I hope that we might be able to get a reduction but I am not counting on it because of things that have happened in the past where there has been no situational forgiveness or hardship allowance. We would really like to pay them the money and get ourselves back to an even keel so we can take care of our other finances.
A lot of people want to know how we are going to keep from falling back into the same hole that we were in.
Short version is that we are going to start, after we get our debt to the IRS paid, a Patreon account where we will be publishing new work and work that we have that hasn’t seen the light of day. We are going to be doing behind the scenes entries and Peter’s writing process. All the money from that is going into an account that is ear marked for taxes only, both federal and New York State including the insane worker’s comp tax that Peter pays which he will never see a dime of but has to pay anyway but that’s a rant for another day.
We are so close but we do need your help getting that last quarter of the money that can save us from losing everything.
This was hard for us to do. It is something that we have been carrying around with us in our heads for going on 20 years now. We have tried so hard to take care of it ourselves and we fell short.
You have given us hope that we haven’t had in years and that means a lot not only to Peter but to Caroline and myself.
So I thank you for your support so far and ask for your help in getting us to the point where we can take care of this mess once and for all.
EDIT for a good suggestion to put the links in each entry.
Paypal account is email@example.com
If you would rather not donate online, checks can be made out to Peter David and sent to PO Box 951, Bayport, NY 11705
April 3, 2017
I continue to be stunned by the generosity of both fans and friends. It never occurred to me that we would reach the $55,000 level in four days.
It helps that I have some incredibly generous friends. George Takei, JMS and Wendy & Richard Pini each donated $1000 on GoFundMe while George Perez donated an astounding $5000.
Meanwhile I went to the PO box today for the first time, wondering if I would find anything to autograph. Instead there were simply half a dozen letters (and one card) with checks enclosed. They weren’t asking for anything; they were instead thanking me for the years of enjoyment they’ve derived from my work. I assume because they sent checks they want anonymity, but one fan–you know who you are, Susan–sent a check for $2000. It’s astounding.
You have to understand that being a writer (or an artist for that matter) is fundamentally a lonely life. You have no coworkers in your office typically. It’s just you and the computer screen or art board, and you do your work and toss it out there and hope that maybe, just maybe, people like your work. If this endeavor to get myself out from under has proven anything to me, it’s that you guys are terrific. It makes my life’s work seem worthwhile.
I am also taking very seriously the people who contend that I should allow for the notion that the IRS is going to want taxes on the $88,000 on top. Furthermore, my critics (there are always critics) have declared that I should just work to earn the money. One guy declared that when Willie Nelson ran into tax problems, he made a record and all the funds went to the IRS. On the surface of it, that’s an idiotic comment. There is simply no project I can generate on my own that can raise that sort of money, and I doubt recording a cover of “On the Road Again” would do much in terms of income. But on the other hand, I very much prefer the notion of working for money rather than just asking for it.
I’ve found out about the fact that there is a revival of the patronage system of a couple centuries ago. There is a site called www.patreon.com that is designed specifically for that. For a monthly fee, fans can support artists that they appreciate. Colleen Doran has one, as do a number of writers. So when this is done, I’m going to set one up myself. For varying monthly fees you’ll get all kinds of neat stuff, including new works, behind the scenes stuff, neat pictures, etc. And every cent from that will go into a separate bank fund that will be maintained exclusively for taxes so I don’t find myself behind the eight ball next year.
Also, remember Colleen Doran is having an auction on eBay? For the Hulk page, right here? Well, I decided to add something to it. DC Comics just sent me my author copies of the upcoming Young Justice trade paperback which will hit the stores the end of April. So we’re going to add a copy to the auction, which finishes in two days. I will send a personalized copy of it to the winner, who will undoubtedly be the first on his block to have a copy.
And lastly, I haven’t forgotten. We are uploading the never-before-seen Space Cases, Season 2 blooper reel. The problem is that we have crap upload speed at the house and it won’t be finished for another two and a half hours. So check back here around 10:30 and ideally we’ll have a link up. A couple of historical notes: For you folks who never saw the show, yes, the young lady with the rainbow hair is Jewel Staite. Also, during the green screen sequence that features Rosie’s parents, the woman is in fact the mother of Paige Heuser who played Rosie. Enjoy.
UPDATE AT 10:40–Okay, guys. Here it is!
April 2, 2017
I have to admit, I am somewhat stunned that we got to the first thank you level that fast. A huge shout out should go out to Robert Kirkman who donated an insanely large amount of money, which means I’m going to have to start watching “The Walking Dead.”
So, just as I promised, the story “Memento Morrie” has been posted onto the Crazy 8 website. Which means that we can now focus on the next level of $55,000. I was wondering what to make it and decided to start turning my attention to what started it all: Space Cases. So my daughter Caroline has been going through all my old video tapes from when the show was in production, and has turned up some gems. When we hit level $55,000, I will put up on Youtube the never-before-seen gag reel from the second season of Space Cases. Walter Jones, the Black Power Ranger, as our lead Harlan. A teenage girl named Jewel Staite as our engineering genius (yes, we reached through time and space and ripped off Joss Whedon ten years early.) Plus the rest of our wonderful cast who brought each script to life. Watching it brought back all manner of pleasant memories of the series, its cast and crew and my collaboration with the immortal Bill Mumy.
In the meantime, enjoy Memento Morrie.
April 1, 2017
I have to admit, in recent months, I have been discouraged by humanity. As I constantly read about how Trump’s election has resulted in a country wide coming out party for haters, I was left wondering what the hell was wrong with everybody. To be honest, when I began this endeavor to square myself with the IRS, I was concerned I was pointlessly embarrassing myself for little gain. I suspected people would just tell me to solve my own problems, which admittedly some did.
But I was wrong. Thus far the support has been tremendous, both on my website and my GoFundMe page. Money has been coming in both from long time friends ($1000 from Elayne and Robin Riggs) and even long time opponents ($200 from Erik Larsen.) Colleen Doran is auctioning a piece on eBay here. Even more heartening have been the words of support, from people who have been in my situation and people who have been long time fans of my work.
Thus far people have given me, in combining both locations, around $30,000. I want to give something back.
So I’m going to be instituting a rewards program.
When the amount reaches $40,000—the first level, which would get me almost halfway to my goal—I will post an original short story on the Crazy 8 website. It is entitled “Memento Morrie.” Let’s just say it was inspired by recent governmental events. I have just finished it and was going to begin sending it around to magazines, but to hell with it. You guys have earned it. There will also be rewards for $55,000, $75,000 and the final $88,000.
I figure it’s the least I can do for so much generosity.
March 31, 2017
I was going to post this tomorrow but then realized people might think it’s an April Fool’s joke, so I’m doing it today.
Pretty much everyone has private things that have happened to them that they don’t want to discuss publicly. Well…this is mine.
Many years ago I had a television series on the air called “Space Cases.” And I made a lot of money that year. I mean a lot. And I had a ton of money sitting in my bank account ready to send to the IRS on April 15th. It was all good.
And then the day that I was going to send the check, I swung by the nearest ATM to withdraw some cash and was astounded to see that half the money in my account was gone. Why was it gone? Because my then wife withdrew it in order to pay for a divorce lawyer, which was how I found out my marriage was dissolving. So the money never went to the IRS because I had to use the remainder to hire my own attorney.
Over the years, I never managed to land another project that would pay me that much. I had lots of people make promises–I even did the work for some of them–and none ever came up with the money. Meanwhile I tried to make payment arrangements with the IRS but they didn’t last, because throughout the year I’d send in the payments but then on April 15 I had no money to pay the income tax because I’d already sent them all my spare money.
Then they seemed to just forget about it. Which was great.
Except recently they now seem to have remembered. And they want all the money, plus penalty and interest, or they are going to financially destroy me.
How much? $88,000.
So I’m asking you guys.
I’d love to say that we want the money because we want to repair the house, which is in desperate need, but that’s not the case. Every cent is going straight to the government.
Is it possible? Well, I have 5000 Facebook followers. If they each sent $10, that would get me halfway. I have over 13,000 Twitter followers. If they each sent $10, I’d be in the clear with money to pay any taxes due on the new income.
My Paypal account is firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t use the donate button on this site; that will send the money to the Heroes Initiative.
Do you want to get something for the money? Fine: Send a check to my PO Box, PO Box 951, Bayport, NY 11705 along with books of mine and a SASE and I’ll sign them and send them back. That’s something, I guess.
I’m sure that there are people out there who will be overjoyed that I’m having financial difficulties, but I’m hoping the rest of you will not judge me too harshly and help me out.